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County Cricket Medalists!

the Girls' Cricket team went to Denby CC with one main objective; win at least 1 match!

Chaucer Junior School's Girls' Cricket Team has achieved the best sports result that the school has ever attained in any sport...and they were so, so close to doing even better!

Having qualified for the Derbyshire Finals through the Erewash SSP competition at the start of June, the Chaucer team [Emily Pickering (v/c), Emily Knighton, Emma East, Evie Sisson (c), Katelyn Hanson, Martyna Kluch, Iris Castro, Aaaliyah Proctor & Macie Lees-Vince) went to Denby CC with one main objective; to win at least 1 match! Last year, many of the same players were in the Chaucer team that reached the 2014 Derbyshire Finals, but lost all their matches and they would be the first to admit that they did not play particularly well that day.

On a beautiful, sunny morning, the first opportunity to reach that target of 1 win came against Killamarsh. Chaucer fielded first and did a decent job of restricting the number of runs scored by the NE Derbyshire school. However, Chaucer's run-chase had a disastrous beginning. Chaucer lost a wicket from the opening ball and lost 2 more wickets in the first 2 overs. (Each time a wicket is lost, the team loses 5 runs off its score but the batsman continues batting for their allotted time.) Chasing 235 runs (each team starts on 200), Chaucer made just 14 runs from the first 5 overs. Thankfully Chaucer's batting improved at the end of the innings, as they notched 25 runs from the final 3 overs, to win by 4 runs!

Not satisfied with just breaking their duck, the girls were determined to build upon their early success in their next match, a local derby against Mundy C of E from Heanor. Again, Chaucer fielded first and although we only took 1 wicket, some wonderfully economical bowling allowed Mundy to score just 217. In response, Chaucer made steady progress. Martyna and Emma scored 13, Katelyn and Emily K scored 16, Evie S and Iris scored 17, Aaliyah and Emily P scored 12 and only a single wicket was lost. The result was a one-sided victory; 253 v 217.

After an extended lunch break, Chaucer sought to maintain their momentum in their next match against St James C of E from Derby. This time we batted first and Chaucer began in red hot form. Martyna, Iris, Evie and Macie were the first four to bat. They combined for 46 runs, including 9 impressive boundaries. However, the scoring came to a standstill in the 2nd half of the innings. Chaucer scored just 14 runs in the last four overs and lost 3 wickets (a combined -1 runs scored!), which meant that the team's total was 245. To make matters worse, Chaucer's bowling accuracy deserted them. The girls bowled 14 wides and/or no balls, gifting 28 runs to St James without them even having to hit the ball! St James added 38 runs through their own batting and won comfortably; 266 v 245.

Chaucer faced Hayfield from High Peak in the final group game of the day, knowing they had to win to have any chance of progressing to the final or the 3rd/4th play-off match.

Electing to field first, the girls were able to recapture their bowling precision from earlier in the day...and they finally started making some catches! After Aaliyah, Iris, Martyna and Emma had bowled, Hayfield had made just 2 runs due to losing 3 wickets! Their scoring improved after that and they finished on 229 for the loss of 6 wickets. Chaucer made a confident reply. Martyna and Macie made 19 runs before Kateyln and Emma added another 24. Evie and Iris scored 26 and finally Emily P and Aaliyah notched 16. The 280 - 229 win was enough to put Chaucer joint top of the group with Killamarsh...and ahead on the total number of runs scored by just 5 runs!

Cheered on by Mrs Upton and a growing number of supporters, Chaucer's opponents in the final were Fairmeadows from Swadlincote. Batting first, Chaucer set a competitive target of 261 after spraying the ball around for 13 boundaries and losing just 2 wickets in the 8 overs. In the field, Chaucer limited Fairmeadows to just 11 boundaries and managed to take 3 wickets...however, most of Fairmeadows' big hits went for 6s whereas Chaucer had scored mainly 4s. The scores were so close, it went down to the final ball. In the end, Fairmeadows won by a single run. Congratulations to them, they won all their group matches as well, so they were clearly worthy Champions.

Although slightly disappointed to have played so well but lost the final by such a narrow margin, the Chaucer girls were still extremely proud of their performances and the achievement of being 2nd in the whole of Derbyshire. The silver medals from the Derbyshire Cricket Board were well deserved and gratefully received.

Many thanks to the Proctor family for their help - as always!

~ Mr Woodcock

For more photos please click here.

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